Eur. J. Entomol. 112 (4): 567-590, 2015 | 10.14411/eje.2015.073

A new look at the nature of insect juvenile hormone with particular reference to studies carried out in the Czech Republic

Karel SLÁMA
Biology Centre of Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Entomology, Drnovská 507, 161 00 Praha 6, Czech Republic; e-mail: slama@entu.cas.cz

This article is a comprehensive summary of the 50-year history of physiological investigations in the Czech Republic into the mode of action of the corpus allatum hormone (CAH) in insects, which is commonly known as the juvenile hormone (JH). During this period 4000 synthetic JH- mimetic bioanalogues were tested. The sesquiterpenoid epoxy-homofarnesoate (JH-I), which is generally thought to be the true JH of insects, is an excretory product of the male colleterial gland, not an insect hormone. There are two principal hormones produced by the insect neuroendocrine system: activation hormone (AH) produced by neurosecretory cells in the brain and JH secreted by the corpora allata. The prothoracic glands are a subordinated target of JH, not PTTH; they are not involved in the regulation of moulting in insects. The development of larval, pupal and adult structures depends primarily on inherited instructions encoded within the genome, not on high, medium or low concentrations of JH. At the level of epidermal cells, the responses to JH are always "all-or-none" with intermediate forms mosaic mixtures of cells of previous and future developmental stages.

Keywords: Insects, activation hormone (AH), juvenile hormone (JH), corpus cardiacum (CC), corpus allatum (CA), corpus allatum hormone (CAH), neurosecretory cells (NSC), prothoracic glands (PG), ecdysteroids (Ecd)

Received: December 5, 2014; Accepted: April 27, 2015; Prepublished online: July 8, 2015; Published: November 21, 2015

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